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Bio degradable sanitary napkin now at Re 1

According to the National Family Health Survey 2015-16, about 58% of women aged between 15 years and 24 years use locally prepared napkins and tampons (Photo for representational purpose only) (Mint file)Premium
According to the National Family Health Survey 2015-16, about 58% of women aged between 15 years and 24 years use locally prepared napkins and tampons (Photo for representational purpose only) (Mint file)

  • The Centre launched Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Oxo-Biodegradable Sanitary Napkin at 2.50 per pad in June 2018
  • According to the government, till 31 July 2019, over 1.30 crore pads were sold at Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras under Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana

New Delhi: To make sanitary pads more affordable and accessible to women, the government on Monday announced slashing the price of Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Oxo-Biodegradable Sanitary Napkin, launched last year, to Re 1 per pad from 2.50.

“About 28 million girls are reported to be leaving education because of lack of availability of good quality Sanitary Napkin pads at reasonable cost. Suvidha napkin will now be available at only One Rupee per pad," said Mansukh L. Mandaviya, minister of state for chemicals & fertilizers.

The government launched Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Oxo-Biodegradable Sanitary Napkin at 2.50 per pad in June 2018. According to the government, till 31 July 2019, over 1.30 crore pads were sold at Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras under Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP). The product has been made available in more than 5500 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana Kendras across the country.

The government claims this is an important step in ensuring health security for the section of Indian women who still use unhygienic aids during menstrual period due to non-affordability of sanitary pads in the market.

The Suvidha napkin has a special additive which makes it 100% biodegradable when it reacts with oxygen after it is used and discarded. The average price of sanitary napkins available in the market currently is around Rs8 per pad. With Suvidha, government aims to make the significant product affordable for underprivileged women. Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised before the ‘Lok Sabha Election-2019’ that sanitary pads would be more affordable and accessible in India.

According to the National Family Health Survey 2015-16, about 58% of women aged between 15 years and 24 years use locally prepared napkins and tampons. Further, about 78% women in urban areas use hygienic methods of protection during menstrual period; while only 48% women in rural areas have access to clean sanitary napkins. Majority of women use unhygienic products during menstruation, such as wood shavings, fibres, and old dirty clothes that may cause fungal infections, Reproductive Tract Infection, Urinary Tract Infection, cervical cancer and also make women vulnerable to infertility. Moreover, the disposal of non-biodegradable sanitary napkins available today creates a huge environmental problem.

According to Menstrual Health Alliance India, an NGO, sanitary napkins constitute over 45% of menstrual waste, which is disposed of as routine waste along with other household garbage. This poses a major health hazard. The data also reveals that in urban areas, 13% of menstrual waste is thrown in open spaces such as rivers, wells, lakes and by the roadside, while 10% waste is disposed of in toilets, 9% is burnt and 8% buried.

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